Workplace wellbeing: Making strides in our profession

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President's column - Dr. Rena Carlson

In my inaugural column last August, I wrote about how meeting the demands of our profession, living life, and managing a family can strain our wellbeing. As your AVMA president, building a culture of wellbeing, diversity, inclusion, and belonging within the entire veterinary team remains a priority for me.

There has been some promising progress in our work to improve mental health and wellbeing among our veterinary teams. This was shown in the latest Veterinary Wellbeing Study conducted by Merck Animal Health in collaboration with the AVMA. Results of the study indicate our efforts are resulting in healthier and more satisfying careers for veterinary teams. 

The AVMA is committed to providing the veterinary profession with the tools and resources to help develop and maintain healthy individuals and teams. 

Updated tools to support wellbeing

Late last year, the Association updated our workplace wellbeing certificate CE on AVMA Axon®, expanding it from one to two certificate programs. Workplace Wellbeing 1: Setting the Foundation now includes two new modules: “A New Era of Wellbeing at Work” and “The Intersection of Workplace Wellbeing and Conflict.” And a new certificate, Workplace Wellbeing 2: Self and Social Awareness, builds on key information and skills to provide a deep dive into three areas central to workplace wellbeing: self-awareness, social awareness, and conflict management. Both certificate programs are CE-eligible.

One of the most critical ways to enhance wellbeing is to promote diversity, equity, and
inclusion (DEI). Organizations that give precedence to DEI play a vital role in protecting and enhancing the mental and emotional health of their employees. This is especially crucial in the veterinary profession, where we often face significant stressors such as high-pressure work environments, substantial emotional tolls, and a need for a sense of belonging. 

Save the date

To help increase understanding of the vital intersection of DEI and enhancing wellbeing and emotional health, the AVMA will host the inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Wellbeing (DEIW) Summit November 7-9 in Atlanta. The event, designed for academicians and veterinary professionals, is aimed at influencing attendees’ personal and professional perspectives around DEIW and will consist of workshops, keynotes, panel discussions, and much more. Please save the date for this important summit. 

I found it personally and professionally rewarding to have participated in the AVMA’s workplace wellbeing and Brave Space certificate programs and Journey for Teams modules. They have all helped me foster a healthier and more supportive atmosphere in my workplace. I will now dedicate time to continuing my journey by taking advantage of the new programs to expand my ability to create a sense of unity and understanding in all aspects of my life and work.


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